I’m an incontinence expert and these are 3 myths women need to know about leaking

MANY women have little leaks or ‘oops moments’.

Incontinence affects millions of people – with around 54 per cent of women leaking when they cough or sneeze.

Getty - Contributor
Many people experience incontinence and one expert has now revealed what’s true and what’s not when it comes to little leaks[/caption]
Expert Clare Bourne addressed three myths that are often associated with incontinence[/caption]

There are two main types of incontinence, stress incontinence and urge incontinence.

Stress incontinence is when you leak a very small amount of urine – when you cough or sneeze, laugh or exercise, for example.

Urge incontinence is another form, and happens when the detrusor muscles in the bladder are overactive, and start to contract (to make you pee) before your brain has told them to.

But there are many myths surrounding leaks and one incontinence expert has now debunked them.

Pelvic health physiotherapist Clare Bourne, said the first myth is that only older women experience leaks.

Claire, who is working on the ‘Leaking the Truth’ campaign with brand Elvie said that 67 per cent of women aged between 18 and 34 experience a leak at least once a week.

Sun columnist, Dr Zoe Williams, also previously said that it’s not ‘uncommon’ for younger women to suffer with leaks.

She said: “One common misconception around incontinence is that it only happens to older or pregnant women.

“But the reality is, it can affect us at any age (and affects some men too).”

Claire said that the second myth is that it’s ‘rare to leak’.

She explained: “Sadly this isn’t true, 88 per cent of women in Elvie’s survey reported experiencing leaks.”

Dr Zoe previously said that incontinence is most common in women over the age of 30, and things like pregnancy, having had vaginal births, obesity and menopause make it more likely.

Clare’s top tips for stopping that 'little bit of wee' coming out

If you're struggling with incontinence, Claire said there are some things you can do to help control it.

Strengthen your pelvic floor muscles: Having a strong and flexible pelvic floor will help you to hold on in the times you need it most. 

Make sure you’re doing your Kegels correctly: Performing a contraction of the pelvic floor correctly is essential

Take care of your bladder: Stay wrapped up nice and warm and reduce your intake of bladder irritants, such as caffeine and alcohol.

Speak to your doctor for support: If you are experiencing urine leaks or notice you are passing urine more frequently during the day or night which is impacting your daily life, seek support from your GP. You don’t have to suffer in silence. 

The third myth, Claire explained, is that ‘there is nothing that can be done about incontinence’.

She added: “thankfully this isn’t true and there are definitely things you can do.

“Urine leaks are solvable and pelvic floor exercises are the first treatment for incontinence.”

She said that having a strong and flexible pelvic floor will allow you to hold when you need to and prevent any leakages while you’re waiting to get to a loo.

“Urinary leaks can have such a huge impact on a woman’s daily life, her self-confidence, and her mental health”, she added.

Claire said that it’s a myth that nothing can be done about incontinence[/caption]

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